August 17, 2019

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Failure to Diagnose

Failure to Diagnose Medical Conditions and Diseases

Failure to diagnose, delayed diagnosis, and misdiagnosis of a medical condition or event all fall under the category of failure to diagnose. For victims, it is one of the most emotionally devastating types of medical malpractice because it can turn a curable or treatable medical problem into a fatal one. The consequences of failure to diagnosis can include a variety of harms including prolonged recovery, more extensive medical treatment, shorten life-span, unnecessary medical treatments, and much more. If you have been a victim of failure to diagnose, or if someone you love died as a result of diagnostic failure, you need the help of a highly qualified medical malpractice law firm.

Conditions and Events

Virtually any medical condition or event can be misdiagnosed. In fact, a perfectly healthy patient can be mistakenly diagnosed with a serious illness and undergo dangerous medical treatments that they never needed. The results can be fatal. Failure to diagnose is more common with certain diseases and health events. Examples include:

  • Cancer
  • Meningitis
  • Heart attack
  • Stroke
  • Appendicitis
  • Heart disease
  • Ectopic pregnancy
  • Aneurysm
  • Brain injury
  • Broken bones and fractures
  • Thyroid disease
  • Sepsis
  • Lyme disease
  • Neurological disorders
  • Aortic dissection
  • Pulmonary embolism

Consequences of Failure to Diagnose

The consequences of failure to diagnose depend on the type of medical condition, how long the condition is allowed to progress, among other factors. For instance, misdiagnosis can mean getting unnecessary treatments for a condition you do not have while not getting treatment for the condition you do have, and being harmed in different ways by both.

Consequences of failure to diagnose can include:

  • Delayed recovery
  • Prolonged illness and pain
  • Preventable secondary conditions
  • Avoidable disability
  • Disfigurement
  • Organ damage or loss
  • Treatment that is more invasive, painful, and/or expensive
  • Progression of the condition to the point that treatment is no longer effective
  • Unnecessary and dangerous treatments for a medical condition which is not present
  • More severe recurrence of a dangerous health event, such as stroke or heart attack
  • Shortened life expectancy
  • Death

Medical Negligence Involved in Failure to Diagnose

Diagnostic error can happen in a number of ways for many different reasons. Examples of medical negligence that can lead to failure to diagnose include:

  • Failure to take patient history
  • Errors in recording intake interview
  • Failure to recognize symptoms or early warning signs
  • Failure to consider known risk factors
  • Belief that the patient is not a candidate for the condition
  • Failure to respond to symptoms reported by patient
  • Failure to consider a patient’s medical history or family history
  • Failure to order appropriate tests
  • Choosing not to recommend tests due to financial concerns
  • Improper administration of tests
  • Improper reading of test results
  • Laboratory error
  • Discharging emergency room patients too quickly
  • Failure to follow up with patient
  • Intentional misdiagnosis

To connect with an experienced medical malpractice attorney in your area, please search our network of medical malpractice law firms today.